War Related Illness and Injury Study Center
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common condition that can affect the normal function of the large intestine. IBS is the most common functional gastrointestinal disorder with worldwide prevalence rates ranging from 9 to 23%. IBS is characterized by a group of symptoms which include abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. IBS is common among the civilian population, and also has been diagnosed in the combat veteran population.
IBS may cause discomfort, but it does not permanently harm the intestines and does not lead to intestinal bleeding. IBS also does not cause inflammatory changes or increase your risk of cancer as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease do.
Most people with IBS can control their symptoms through
- Stress management
- Medications prescribed by their health care provider.